Dallas Seavey just made Iditarod history. The 25-year-old musher became the youngest person to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday evening when he brought his nine-dog team across the finish line in Nome, Alaska.
Seavey, who turned 25 the day the 2012 Iditarod started, beat both his father and grandfather to the finish.
“They mean the world to me. I could not be prouder of these guys. It’s hard to not come to tears when they finally crossed under this arch in first place.”
The SF Gate reports that Seavey finished the grueling 1000 mile race in nine days, four hours and 29 minutes. (SB Nation reports that the record for the fastest Iditarod is held by John Baker who finished the race in 8 days, 18 hours, and 46 minutes last year.)
Seavey said that he realized he had a chance of winning at the Ruby checkpoint, but the fatigued musher wasn’t confident about victory until he arrived in Nome.
“It’s not over till you’re sitting on the podium… every light that I thought I saw, I thought it was the headlights of a musher about to pass me.”
Seavey unseated Rick Swenson as the youngest winner in Iditarod history. Swenson won his first Iditarod at the age of 26 in 1977. Swenson went on to win the race four more times and now, at 61, is still competing.
[Photo: Marc Lester / McClatchy-Tribune News Service]